Friday, February 23, 2007

Padilla case a national disgrace

Testimony on Jose Padilla's mental competence to stand trial reveals that he is unable to assist in his own defense because of a mental breakdown caused by the Abu Ghraib style interrogation tactics used on him in a prison right here in the United States. In essence, he has been punished before he was convicted of a crime.

Jose Padilla was probably not a model citizen before he was arrested but I doubt he's a terrorist. If the government had any proof that he was, they would be charging him with terrorism instead of some lame vague conspiracy charge they were forced to bring forward when the Supreme Court was about to rule they were illegally holding him as an "enemy combatant. But even he was a terrorist, he is also a US citizen who is entitled to full protection of the law.

If he was guilty, the rule of law requires that he be judged so by the courts. Instead he was robbed of due process and his sanity by government interrogators who circumvented the primary protections that prevent any one of us from being summarily snatched off the street at the whim of one man in a misuse of power. That's not only a disgrace, it's a dangerous threat to the very foundation of the legal system that formerly defined the difference between America and other tyrannical regimes.

Update: Naomi Klein in The Guardian points out that what happened to Padilla has been deliberately inflicted on hundreds, and possibly thousands, of prisoners around the world.

[Thanks to Michael van der Galien at TMV for the link]
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Libby,
Just using this comment box to let you know I have moved my blog. After struggling with New
Blogger I got fed up and changed over to Wordpress and what a delightful difference.
Anyway, I am now at Please come and say hi and adjust any link. Thanks!!

5:02:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Hey Brian. Glad you dropped by with the new link. I've been so bogged down with work I haven't visited anyone on my blogroll in weeks. Love the new blog. I'll change your link right now.

5:59:00 PM  
Blogger Comrade O'Brien said...

Hello Comrade,
Please visit to learn about our creative protest of the Military Commissions Act, the law that allows Padilla to be tortured. Or watch our video at:

9:46:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Thanks for the link Comrade. I'll check it out tonight.

7:39:00 AM  

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